UN envoy, GCC critical of new Yemeni government
Made for Defeat: UN’s Unhappy Verdict on Yemen’s New Government
These are strange times. Instead of criticizing Saudi Arabia and its allies for waging an illegal war on Yemen, the United Nations has criticised the formation of a new government in Sana’a!
Worse still, instead of using its influence to drain the swamp that is the Saudi-led war on the poorest country in the Arab world, the UN has equally criticized the Houthi Ansarullah movement for helping to form the “national salvation” government.
The “national salvation” government was sworn in on Tuesday after the Ansarullah movement and their allies announced its formation on the previous day. The new government replaced the Supreme Political Council, which was established by the Houthis and the party of former president Ali Abdullah Saleh earlier in the year.
Here, the Ansarullah movement has given assurances that the new government will not hinder UN-brokered peace talks in any way. It has made clear that this has nothing to do with the alleged “narrow ambitions” either, but with Yemen’s national interests above partisan ambitions, taking immediate steps to end political divisions and addressing the country’s security, humanitarian and economic challenges. This should be music to UN’s ears. On the contrary:
In reality, the United Nations, which has always backed Saudi Arabia in the conflict and has even given Riyadh a top seat at the Human Rights Council, knows next to nothing about Yemen – one of many gaps in its education. Yet when it comes to Yemen’s new government, the world body is onto something. No doubt the UN-sponsored peace talks qualify as “great” in the sense that they mean well. That they have gone nowhere, however, is indisputable – at least if their job is to bring the war to a diplomatic conclusion.
The UN’s unhappy verdict – that “the new government is a new and unnecessary obstacle for the talks” – is self-defeating. It never takes into account the interests of the Yemeni people, much less their rights to self-determination. In other words, this is never about support for democracy and self-determination, but everything about what the United States and Saudi Arabia want in Yemen – the only thing that the UN is willing to endorse: regime change.
The verdict applies equally to other theatres of conflict as well, largely overlooked by the UN, that in recent years have engaged the attention of war-party Washington, a list that includes conflicts in Syria and Libya. This includes the resulting body count as well. Granted, the UN has demonstrated an impressive aptitude for taking sides on all these complex military fronts. It represents a staggering failure.
By that standard, having been at the service of war criminals and regime changers for virtually the entire twenty-first century, the United Nations is still looking for its next failure in Yemen. And however strong the disinclination to concede that the UN could be right about anything, its verdict on Yemen’s new government qualifies as apt.
That verdict, that political shenanigan, brings us to the following conclusion:
As per its Charter, the UN should guard its mind against all self-defeating thoughts and beliefs, and endorse the new government in Yemen. This could help calm the conflict before it becomes another intractable killing field. The UN and its members have the opportunity to learn from recent missteps in the region and take advantage of the new government that only wants to offer a window to prioritize diplomacy and shift worsening dynamics across the war-torn country.
On that score, criticism and entertaining doubts is not helpful at all. With so many key players dragged in, it could easily turn Yemen into another Syria, an intractable, grinding conflict that destroys one nation, while implicating others with no good possible outcomes.
It is what it is because the UN lets it be so. Pandering is unlikely to resolve the conflict there, but an effective political process – which depends on UN support for the new government – might actually reverse a dangerous escalation. This is no time for half-measures – as even the UN may eventually recognize.
Bahrain activists demand UK intervention